I discovered clay in 2003 and quickly became fascinated with its wonderful malleability and usefulness in sculpture—it can take any shape and possesses a nearly infinite variety of texture and surface possibilities. I am very much inspired by the relief carvings found in pre-Columbian Mayan ceramics and stonework, and the beautiful simplicity of Matisse’s paper cutouts. In my sculpture, I love to explore free-form shapes combined with relief carvings in the clay surface.
Once a clay piece is created, it is dried over several weeks then bisque-fired in a kiln to 1940°F. The surface is now glazed when it is firm but still porous enough to absorb the liquid glaze. I often brush on glaze then sponge it off to create a weathered appearance. The piece is then fired again to full maturity at 2232°F, which turns the glaze to glass.
Working in a variety of sizes, my sculpture ranges from wall-mounted reliefs to free-standing in-the-round works. One challenge with clay is that it can be quite difficult to work with on a large scale. In my public art pillars, I used a poured-place concrete foundation to support the ceramic work. I am currently building large ceramic sculptures by using a welded steel frame onto which is mounted cement backer-board to serve as a substrate for the ceramic work. This enables me to create tall pillar pieces for the exterior landscape or spacious interior settings.
In the last year I have been welding steel pieces into a series of sculptures into which I incorporate glazed ceramic elements. I am quite excited by the possibilities of combining the free-form nature of the clay with the strength and solidity of steel. These pieces have a quiet, contemplative feel; you can find many of them in the shop.
Here are some examples of past and present work: